"We applaud Representatives Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) for their leadership on this crucial legislation to remove barriers currently limiting patient access to care in the home, which is often the preferred site of care for patients, caregivers and providers," read a statement from MMH.
“As we identify opportunities to modernize the care seniors can access, we must consider the convenience and comfort home care offers them,” said Smith. “The Expanding Care in the Home Act is a commonsense measure to ensure Medicare can process claims for in-home care services, and I’m proud to lead the introduction of this important bill.”
“We know people often prefer to receive care in the comfort and security of their own homes, and the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of expanding access to health care beyond traditional doctor’s office or hospital settings,” said Dingell. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation which will help remove barriers to care and increase options for patients to receive critical care in the setting of their choice.”
“Seniors and their caregivers want the option to stay home. It’s better for overall health and recovery,” said Krista Drobac, founder of Moving Health Home. “The pandemic showed us it is possible, and we need to build on that. We are grateful to Representatives Smith and Dingell for their commitment to modernizing our health care system to meet patients where they want to be.”
“The pandemic has taught us, and polls confirm, that care in the home is preferred by many patients, with increasing demand for at-home options,” Drobac said. “Not only do home-based models increase access to care in general, they have also demonstrated the ability to successfully reduce costs, improve quality and outcomes, maintain safety comparable to or better than facilities and address disparities.”
The ECHA would ensure that home-based care is a viable option for patient care and scalable for providers. Specifically, it would:
- Improve the feasibility for primary care doctors to deliver home-based care, bringing house calls back to Medicare beneficiaries.
- Create a personal care services benefit in Medicare to fill the gap for beneficiaries unable to afford to pay out of pocket yet do not qualify for home care services by Medicaid.
- Bolster the accessibility and affordability of home dialysis for kidney patients.
- Increase access to preventative screening by allowing beneficiaries to receive in-home lab testing.
- Fix outdated policies to better enable the delivery of advanced diagnostic imaging in the home.
- Expand access to home infusion services by addressing fragmentation and affordability.
- Build up the next generation of the home-based care workforce, including physicians, nurses, and emergency medical service providers.
According to MHH, If passed, the ECHA would make significant progress in ensuring all Americans can benefit from high-quality, convenient access to care in the home.
Additionally, the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) applauded the Act in an official statement.
"The Expanding Care in the Home Act breaks down barriers in the Medicare program that make home-based care inaccessible,” said John Rademacher, chair of NHIA’s Board of Directors and CEO of Option Care Health. “The past few years have demonstrated that a wide array of health care services can be provided in the home at the convenience of patients and to the benefit of the health care system at large. However, providing coverage for the full scope of professional services necessary in providing that care—such as pharmacy services for home infusion—is essential to designing workable coverage.”